The Prince Edward Island government announced further updates to its plans to legalize marijuana Wednesday, including what products it will sell, where it can be consumed and policing.
The province previously said the legal age for buying cannabis will be 19, that it will be sold in four government stores across the Island, as well as online, and adults will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams with them.
On Tuesday, the government said it will sell seeds and seedlings in addition to dried cannabis and cannabis oil, but no edibles. Consumption of cannabis will be limited to private residences and some exceptions for designated spaces.
People will also be allowed to have up to four plants, provided minors don’t have access to them. The province is also incorporating new impaired driving laws to deal with cannabis consumption.
Finance Minister Heath MacDonald told CBC News: Compass that the province is working on many different fronts to come up with appropriate policy and laws to govern the legalization of recreational marijuana.
“We’re working our way through this, it’s a very interesting process, we’re dealing with federal regulations and trying to enforce our own,” he said. “And ensuring that we’re covering all components available to us, whether it be education, research, we’re working every different level of government, and we’re working with many different departments in government.”
Retail locations have been set for Summerside and Montague, but a second round of requests for proposal was needed for the Charlottetown and West Prince locations. The bids have now closed for those locations and a decision is expected soon.
The province also opened job applications for the retail locations. MacDonald said they expect to hire six to nine people per store.
July 1 is still the target date for getting everything set up on P.E.I., but with an expected delay in getting the legislation through at the federal level, MacDonald said it gives the province some lead time to figure things out.
“We do have lead time now … and that’s good. It’s something that’s brand new and we want to make sure it’s regulated properly, we want to decriminalize it to the effect of taking it out of the hands of gangs or what have you,” he said.
“So there’s a process that we’re going through and this gives us a little more breathing room to make we regulate it appropriately before it becomes normalized.”